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Prescott to contribute $50,000 to fallen hotshots memorial

The statue is supposed to be in place by June 2019.
Granite Mountain Hotshots Memorial State Park opens Wednesday. (Photo: 12 News)

PRESCOTT, Ariz. (AP) — The Prescott City Council will contribute $50,000 to a courthouse plaza memorial honoring 19 firefighters who died in 2013.

The members of the Prescott-based Granite Mountain Hotshots were overrun by flames in a brush-choked canyon while fighting a wildfire in nearby Yarnell on June 30, 2013.

Council members unanimously supported the contribution to the memorial last week, the Daily Courier reported . The memorial will include a lone bronze statue of a wildland firefighter and be located on the Yavapai County Courthouse across from Prescott City Hall.

A stylized granite-slab image of Granite Mountain will stand behind the statue. An image of the Prescott National Forest’s champion alligator juniper tree that the Hotshots saved before their deaths will be etched onto the backs of the two granite slabs.

The Mountain Hotshots Memorial Partnership chose the design. The group formed soon after the tragic event and has been working for several years on a plan to honor the Hotshots.

“One mother said that she thought it was very fitting that the memorial is on the southeast corner, the corner directly kitty-corner from City Hall, because they’re our boys, ” said Prescott Councilwoman Alexa Scholl, also a partnership committee member.

The group hopes to raise the rest of the $500,000 needed for the memorial in the coming months, committee member Brad Fain said. It’s already a fourth of the way there, Chairman Bruce Martinez said.

The Yavapai-Prescott Tribe has contributed $20,000 to the project, and Yavapai County has pledged in-kind help with the engineering.

The group has approached the town of Prescott Valley about a possible $50,000 contribution and plans to reach out to the towns of Chino Valley and Dewey-Humboldt.

The group hopes to have the statue in place by June 2019.